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Connections: Deconstruction and Connectivism

I haven’t really spent much time with modern French philosophers. They vex me and use many words to say few, but ambiguous, things.

However, I’ll spend time revisiting Derrida and others (notably Latour, but he is a sociologist, so I have more tolerance), especially after a student in the MDDE622 course that Rory McGreal and I taught at Athabasca University, posted an interesting learning module on Deconstruction and Connectivism. Stella Bastone agreed to share the module. From the module:

According to Derrida, all Western thought is based on the idea of a center…Deconstruction challenges this. Deconstructionist activity addresses the instability, complex movements, processes of change, and play of differences and heterogeneity that make stability, unity, structure, function and coherence one-sided readings.
While deconstruction views literature as a system of signs, it rejects the structuralist view that a critic can identify the inherent meaning of a text, suggesting instead that literature has no center, no single interpretation, and that literary language is inherently ambiguous.

Stella obviously reviewed a significan amount of online resources and includes extracted audio/video clips from various discussions and presentations on connectivism. A great resource.


  1. Howard wrote:

    Bakhtin (
    has a similar decentered take on language and self. Because it focuses on dialogue and the multi-voiced nature of understanding I find it closer to the ideas of connectionism. I find Derrida’s deconstruction to be a useful tool, but Bakhtin’s idea of carnival to better represent how decentering (by resistance) works in social networks

    Monday, December 17, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Permalink
  2. This is a very interesting point of view.

    In the history profession we work a lot with how accurate the same event is perceived and especially retold by others. The question is whether we can find the real truth and retell it objectively? The reality is that we contruct the reality in our brain and by retelling it. In principle, all stories is by that thinking subjectively and we will never know the “real” truth. And does it matter?

    The same problem are those who work with chaos theory facing. We have no idea why some particles behave as they do. But it works. Personally, I find it fascinated that the smallest entity we know, consists of air circulating. How can we touch a table – if the table only consists of air?.
    What is really real?

    Is the deconstruction teori an expression that shows that we know nothing for sure? Are we supposed to know for sure. As I see it we are learning af lot in the instabillity, complex movements, processe of change etc. – if we dare to enjoy them

    Friday, January 11, 2013 at 5:01 am | Permalink
  3. John Whitmer wrote:

    Hi George – I’ve been thinking about a similar line – revisiting Postmodern theorists, especially Frederic Jameson (who is a LOT easier to read than Derrida). Hope you’ll share some of your findings or reflections on your readings -

    Friday, January 11, 2013 at 7:58 am | Permalink